Ash Gray Indian Paintbrush

Common Names:
Ash Gray Indian Paintbrush
Scientific name:
Castilleja cinerea
Elevation range:
4,000 - 10,000 ft
Flowering Months:
June, July, August
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Pollinator or food source for:
Rare, Parasite/Hemiparasite
State Occurrences:
Endemic to:
U.S. Endangered Species Act:
California Rare Plant Rank:
1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Desert region:

Ash-grey Indian paintbrush is a hemiparasitic (partial root parasite) plant that is similar to others species in the broomrape family in that they grow "haustoria" which are root projections that penetrate the roots of host plants to draw their water and nutrients. Haustoria usually form and connect with the roots of hosts shortly after germination of the plant. The radicle (the first part of the growing plant to penetrate the soil), forms a ring of hair-like projections and then branches out. Since it is a hemiparasite, it can survive on its own without a host, but will usually be smaller than ones attached to host plants.